T-Birds Try for Five Straight Home Wins, Facing PhantomsNov 24, 2017
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (7-12-1-0), winners of five of their last six games and victors of their last four home games, will look to improve both of those stretches on Black Friday as they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (10-6-0-2) at the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. start.
The Thunderbirds and Phantoms have already met two times in the young season, with Lehigh Valley emerging victorious once on each team's home rink. First, the Phantoms took advantage of a five-minute major power play in overtime to come away with a 3-2 triumph on Oct. 25 in Allentown.
Just two nights later, the Phantoms would once again come away in front, compliments of a 5-2 win in Springfield on Oct. 27 behind two goals by AHL goal scoring leader Danick Martel.
However, this time around, the Phantoms will be without the services of their leading goal scorer, as Martel scored his first NHL call-up to Philadelphia earlier this week. An injured Flyers defense has also allowed Phantoms defenseman Samuel Morin to earn a call-up, leaving Lehigh Valley without one of its top defensemen in addition to the absence of Martel.
Springfield, meanwhile, has turned its early season fortunes around thanks to a stretch of five wins in six games. The Thunderbirds secured their first win away from home on Wednesday night in a 2-1 escape of the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center. Harri Sateri was spectacular in net for the Thunderbirds, denying 28 of 29 Hershey attempts, while Anthony Greco and Thomas Schemitsch got the only goals Springfield would need, in the second and third respectively. Schemitsch's goal was his first career game-winner and third in the last four games overall.
Sateri has won each of his last three starts after beginning his Thunderbirds career winless in his first five decisions. The veteran has seen his goals against average drop to 2.90 and his save percentage rise to .900.
The T-Birds, who sit 6-4-0-0 in their last ten games, now suddenly find themselves on the precipice of climbing out of the bottom of the Atlantic Division as the season hits the quarter-pole. They sit just two points back of the Hartford Wolf Pack and three points behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Hershey Bears entering this weekend's action.
Springfield stays on home ice for one final Sunday game at the MassMutual Center against the Hartford Wolf Pack at 3:05 p.m. on Nov. 26. There will be a team poster giveaway for the first 2,500 fans in attendance, and the full Thunderbirds team will be available for a post-game autograph session on the concourse.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.